4th December, 2013
Following our report earlier today, the Southbank Centre has tweeted:
“Visitors are welcome to take photos on site. Our temp security guards did not understand this. Apologies for any inconvenience”
The centre’s quick response is very welcome, and a sign that all the campaigning for the freedom to photograph in public spaces has made an impact, albeit one that needs reinforcing from time to time.
4th December, 2013
Yesterday, LPB member and respected documentary photographer Marc Vallée was confronted by security guards while photographing the skateboarding area at the London Southbank Centre.
The branch is greatly concerned that, despite years of campaigning by us and others, and significant progress on the issue, some private security guards are still trying to restrict and control what members of the public and press can photograph in the public realm.
According to Vallée:
“I had just finished photographing the fenced off undercroft skate spot with my work camera and was getting a few pictures on my iPhone for Instagram when I was confronted by three security guards.”
“Being told I could not take pictures with a smartphone was a truly bizarre experience. I showed my UK Press Card and explained what I was doing and why. After a surreal exchange of views on photographers’ rights, the guards called the head of security. Around ten minutes later they walked away without explanation or apology.”
The future of the skateboarding area, currently fenced off and under threat of permanent closure, is hotly disputed and a current and legitimate subject of media interest. The fact that the area is visited and photographed by thousands of tourists every week makes the security guards’ behaviour all the more ridiculous.
28th November, 2013
Redeye, a not for profit photography organisation based in Manchester, is holding a one-day seminar on Post-war free press and creativity at the Imperial War Museum North, the Quays, Manchester, on the 1st of December (11:15am to 3:45pm).
In nations that have been torn apart by conflict or have been repressed by totalitarian dictatorships, how do the people establish a free and independent press?
What part does credible public information and free expression play in rebuilding a country and preventing a return to violence?
How can people and organisations respond in a creative way to the destruction and brutality they have faced?
What can we, as nations, organisations and individuals do to help and support the development of a free press and creativity in these situations?
This one-day seminar will seek to answer these questions through a series of talks and panel discussion. The day will feature presentations from Iraq-based photo agency Metrography, Manchester-based social entrepreneur and researcher Ruth Daniel (In Place of War) and journalist and journalism activist Aidan White (former General Secretary of the International Federation of Journalists and currently Director of the Ethical Journalism Network).
For more information and to book tickets (£7, £5.50 for unwaged), please visit the Redeye website - http://redeye.org.uk/programme/post-war-press-and-creative-freedom
28th November, 2013
A recording of the talk on the staff photographer redundancies at the Johnston Press regional newspaper group, given by NUJ Deputy General Secretary Barry Fitzpatrick at our November branch meeting, is available via the link below. Unfortunately, contributions from the floor were not recorded at sufficient quality, and have been cut from this edit.
Audio link: LPB131126
19th November, 2013
In the first part of this month’s branch meeting NUJ Deputy General Secretary Barry Fitzpatrick will be speaking about the 24 Johnston Press photographers facing redundancy, and what can be done to support them. We will also be showing the first instalment of the branch’s Working Lives video project, which relates directly to the struggle to maintain quality content and professional expertise in the local and regional press, and discussing how we should proceed with it.
6.00pm Tuesday 26th November, Headland House, 308 Gray’s Inn Road, London WC1X 8D
18th November, 2013
The 24 compulsory staff photographer redundancies announced by the Johnston Press last week are yet another illustration of the low regard in which the skills and expertise of professional photographers are held by many of their employers. The failure to recognise the valuable contribution photographers make to the quality of their publications will not only impact on those directly concerned, but will also inevitably result in falling readership and revenues, and the loss of an important element of local democracy and community life.
The NUJ London Photographers Branch condemns this action by the Johnston Press as both a bad business strategy and an unacceptable way to treat its hard-working staff, and demands their immediate reinstatement.
More details here
7th November, 2013
The Working Lives project grew out of a discussion at a branch meeting last year, at the height of the furore surrounding the Hacked Off campaign and the Leveson enquiry. Photographers of all kinds were being maligned as a result of allegations about the behaviour of a very small number of so-called paparazzi, and it seemed clear that the public at large had little idea of the great variety of work that photojournalists do on a daily basis.
This video, an interview with Anne-Marie Sanderson, chief photographer at North London & Herts News, is the first of what we hope will be a series about the working lives of the photographer and videographer members of the LPB. The aim of the project is to show, to the public at large, the range of their work, their motivations for doing it, and the problems they sometimes face. It will also hopefully appeal to potential new members, both those already in the industry, and college students and graduates hoping to enter it.
Anne-Marie is unusual in being a staff photographer. The vast majority of LPB members are freelancers, and the branch plans to follow this pilot with interviews that cover the wide range of specialisms and working practices that they are engaged in. This first piece offers an insight into the complexity and value of local newspaper photography, on how it is changing as more and more of it moves online, and the crucial support provided by the union when disputes arise.
If you would like to be involved, either as an interviewee, or in planning the project, please email email@example.com.
2nd November, 2013
A recording of the talk on Personal Projects given by Stuart Freedman at our October branch meeting, and the discussion that followed, is available via the link below.
Audio link: 1310LPB
18th October, 2013
At our October branch meeting we will be discussing personal photography projects. Most serious photographers document subjects of personal interest with a view to recording issues of importance. Award-winning photojournalist Stuart Freedman will present two new, unseen projects from India and take questions on the value of such work and its commercial potential.
Stuart has been a photographer and writer for over 20 years and has seen his work published in a wide range of titles including Life, Geo, Time, Der Spiegel, National Geographic, Newsweek and Paris Match. His documenting of the atrocities in Sierra Leone brought him invitations to speak in both Oxford Union and Capitol Hill. He is the recipient of many awards, including Amnesty International (twice), Pictures of the Year, The World Sports Photo Award, The Royal Photographic Society and The Association of Photographers (twice).
In the business section of the meeting following the discussion there will be an election for the vacant post of branch treasurer.
6.00pm Tuesday 29th October, Headland House, 308 Gray’s Inn Road, London WC1X 8D
9th October, 2013
The NUJ has a welcome opportunity to influence police public order training. After talks with the NUJ Freelance Office, The Metropolitan Police Specialist Training Centre at Gravesend has agreed to incorporate a group of lens-based journalists into a specially-devised training scenario. The intention of this is to train officers in affording access to media workers during the heat of a protest.
This will go ahead on Thursday, November 7, at 7pm for a 7.30pm start.
We are looking for 12 NUJ members to come along and take part, by photographing/filming the protest as they would do when covering a real event.
The parameters of the filming are being discussed with the Met.
Members wishing to participate should contact the Freelance Office on firstname.lastname@example.org by noon on Friday, November 1.
Posted on behalf of John Toner at the NUJ Freelance Office